Saturday, December 7, 2013

New Pest on Fan Palm?

Small pest that is causing the leaves to be disfigured and coated with a white waxy layer can be seen in this photo.
Sometimes it gets exciting around here (at least for a plant pathologist-botanist like myself). A client brought a sample of a frond from his Mediterranean fan palm (Chamaerops humilis)with a pest that I have not seen before. A cursory search of the Internet turned up palm aphid, but this pest did not look like the adult form. I'm going to send these photos to the Ag. commissioners  office and find out what they know.


I've checked with palm expert Don Hodel at the Los Angeles Agricultural Extension offices and it turns out that the white substance is not from the aphid but from the palm. The pest in question may be a palm aphid, and is mostly harmless to the plant. 

Notice waxy coating and disfigured fronds.

Small pest -it could be a white fly, aphid or scale...or something else.

Another closeup of the waxy coating left by the pest and the pest itself (small spots on the leaves).
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